Earl Pickett Story

  I grew up in a church that tried to help me understand the Word of God, but it did not show me how to find a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

I did not know, at the time I joined the church, that everyone must have his own personal experience with Jesus Christ, and therefore grew up believing that church membership was sufficient. My great desire was to become a successful businessman. I felt that if a man was prosperous, had the finest cars, money in the bank, and a lovely ranch home, he had it made. I started in the restaurant business, later added a taxi business, and both were prospering. But I had made one serious mistake.

The Word of God says "seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you." I failed to include God in my plans. Both the restaurant and taxi business were open seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day. For eight years they never closed, and the money became more plentiful. I didn't take time to go to church on Sunday, and when a man becomes so busy he has no time for God, he is busier than God ever intended him to be.

With my early business success now evident, it seemed proper to expand, become a bigger businessman and make a real success. I invested in a gasket manufacturing business. It was about that time that someone handed me the first cigarette and the first drink, with the sage advice that, you've got to be sociable in order to get business.

My business striving did have some good intentions. I was going to make a great deal of money and help the poor and feed the missionaries when I became really successful. My investment in the gasket manufacturing business necessitated taking more business acquaintances to night clubs and being sociable to get their orders. Soon my life became so involved with being sociable that my home was breaking up.

As though that loss wasn't bad enough, I ended up in the hospital with a deteriorated kidney, brought on, the doctor said, by late hours and excessive drinking. He told me I must immediately stop drinking. But how?

After leaving the hospital, it was only a few hours until I decided a man might as well drink and be happy– today we live–tomorrow we die. Six months later I was back in that same hospital, only by that time it was a different story. The doctor said the kidney was now beyond repair and must be removed. The sad part about this was that although somewhere within me was the feeling that God could be the answer to my problems, I didn't know how to find Him.

But there was one man in Camden New  Jersey  by  the  name  of  Herb Fuller who came to me one day and said, "Earl, I would like to buy you a ticket  to the FGBMF  breakfast  at the Broadwood Hotel."

I asked Herb what this meeting would be like. He said there would be at least 120 business men from different parts of the country, and went on to explain: "There is a man by the name of Demos Shakarian, and there is Ernie Shaw, a real estate investor from South Carolina, and C. C. Ford, an oil man from Denver. There will be several business men from Philadelphia, an outfit by the name of Cardo, five Cardone Brothers, and the world's largest carburetor rebuilders."

The wheels in my head began to turn. I could see thousands of carburetors being torn apart and they all needed new gaskets, and I had new gaskets to sell! I didn't attend that first FGBMF breakfast to meet God. I went there planning to do business.

No one there except Herb Fuller knew me, yet everyone who gripped my hand seemed to radiate the fact he was really concerned and desired to help me. Over the back of the platform was something that impressed me, too: a great scroll that read: "His banner over us is love."

They didn't ask me what my denomination was, how much money I had, how high or low was my social status. They just had a great concern that reached out and touched my heart.

Man after man in that meeting testified of the things the Holy Spirit had led and was leading them to do with the increase of their businesses. Realization finally dawned that those men were saying that as they hit more oil or their cows gave more milk, or they sold more land or more cars, they would have more money to give to help save the world for Jesus. It wasn't money for money's sake they were working for. It was a means to an end.

When they gave the altar call they didn't use any fancy phrases.

They said simply, "If there is anyone here today who wants to be delivered (how I needed deliverance!) If you will come forward and accept the Lord Jesus Christ by faith, and if you will only believe, you will receive." They didn't say I had to pay a certain sum of money, or live a good life for a certain length of time before I could get in. They said if I would only come up there and bow my head and believe, I should receive. I walked forward and bowed my head and said, "Oh Lord whatever You have given these men that gives them this wonderful love not only for one another, but for the whole world, if You can give that me, I wish You would please do it!"

God doesn't dally when a person is in earnest.  Something like a shock of electricity went from the top of my head all the way down to my feet. Suddenly I was awakened to a full realization of the horror and depth of my lost condition. Falling on my face before the Lord I cried out desperately for God to have mercy and save me. When I got to my feet my hair was mussed, and I didn't look like a fashion plate, but there was a joy in my heart such as I never had known before. I was saved! God had heard and delivered me, and put into my heart a determination to go out and proclaim it to the whole world!

I left that meeting all aglow – and ran right into some of the men I had been wining and dining with. God didn't send me to a new area. I had to go back over the old track and testify to old companions and associates.

By the following monthly fellowship meeting I was like a lamb that had almost been led to the slaughter– beaten, about ready for a fist fight, on the verge of losing the victory. The fellows in the chapter said, "Earl, we know what the problem is. Don't worry about it. After this service today, we believe that your problem will be taken care of."

We had a wonderful meeting, more testimonies, and a great uplift in my spirit, getting closer to Jesus - another step closer. At the close of that meeting I knelt at the same spot where I found salvation, and pleaded with God to give me power to witness and to withstand the fiery darts of the enemy. His love poured into my heart, filled it to the brim and running over. He gave me a new language to praise Him, and a new power and boldness to witness. When one receives the baptism in the Holy Spirit there is born within the heart a deep, urgent desire to run with the Good News, and eagerness to be off with the Message to the ends of the earth.

I went back to my wife and asked for one more chance, with Jesus a member of our household. She gave me another chance. Today we have a happy family, two fine children, three adorable grandchildren, and we are all praising the Lord.

Before I met my Savior, I had been six months in the hospital not knowing how or whether I was going to survive, in constant and terrible pain. But I had no more trouble after the day I received the Baptism. I didn't ask the Lord to heal me at that time. My concern was entirely for my soul. But the Lord said if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things pass away and all things become new. The old language went the old appetite for alcohol and cigarettes went.   Everything, even physical affliction moved out when Jesus moved in, and the miracle of healing was accomplished.

Some wonder what Christians do for excitement. Let me tell you that when you are saved and filled with the Holy Spirit there is so much activity and excitement, and so many calls from hungry hearts, you scarcely know where to go first. Brother Harrison and I went to Cuba, to Haiti, and to Jamaica. We saw men who were foaming at the mouth with demon possession, and were able to lay our hands upon them and, in the name of Jesus, cast out devils.

We saw those same men, saved, delivered by the power of God, and filled with the Spirit, now going out to city after city, laying their hands on the sick and testifying to the power of the Gospel among their own people. There is nothing more exciting than to see this ministry catching fire. We see it moving in the Far East, in Africa, in the Mid-East, South America, and all over the world. God is baring His mighty arm of power.

Nor are the far lands the only ones hungry for this Gospel message. Our calendar is filled with invitations to give testimony in churches .They want to hear more about what God is doing in these last days.

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Would you like to start a relationship with Jesus? Check out the Salvation - Coming to Jesus teaching, or our survey to find out for about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Also see Mentoring the Joshua Generation.